Memphis Basketball Notes Vs. Cincinnati
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Go Tigers!

Go Tigers!

March 5, 2014

  #20/20 Memphis (22-7, 11-5) vs #15/15 Cincinnati (24-5, 13-3)
  Thursday, March 6 - 6 p.m. CT | Cincinnati, Ohio - Fifth Third Arena
     
 #20/20 Memphis Tigers (22-7, 11-5 The American)
 
 #15/15 Cincinnati Bearcats (24-5, 13-3 The American)
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Television: ESPN (Dave O'Brien, play-by-play; Jay Bilas, analyst)/Memphis Comcast channel 23 Radio: WREC 600 AM (Dave Woloshin, play-by-play; Matt Dillon, color analyst; Forrest Goodman, studio host) Web: ESPN3.com/WatchESPN.com

The Last Meeting
Cincinnati69
Memphis53
January 4, 2014
FedExForum
No. 18 Memphis Falls to Cincinnati 69-53 in Conference Home Opener
The No. 18 University of Memphis men's basketball team (10-3, 1-1 American) was held to 33 percent from the field and was outscored 30-14 over the final 12:34 as the Tigers fell 69-53 to Cincinnati (13-2, 2-0 American), ending a 27-game conference winning streak Saturday afternoon.


SETTING THE SCENE
• Memphis (22-7, 11-5 The American) takes to the road for the final time in the regular season Mar. 6 when it travels to Cincinnati, Ohio, to face the rival Bearcats (24-5, 13-3 The American).
• ESPN is televising Thursday's 6 p.m. (CT) American Athletic Conference clash from Fifth Third Arena. The Memphis-Cincinnati game can be viewed via the web at ESPN3.com/WatchESPN.com.
• The Tigers enter Thursday's contest having won three of their last four games. In that stretch, Memphis posted wins over Rutgers, Temple and No. 7/4 Louisville and dropped a road decision at Houston.
• The Tigers remained in the Associated Press (AP) poll released Mar. 3 in the No. 20 spot. Memphis has appeared in all 18 AP polls this season. For a fourth-straight week, Memphis also remained in the USA Today coaches poll at No. 20. Cincinnati is ranked No. 15 in both the AP and coaches polls.
• Memphis enters Thursday's encounter having won seven of its last 10 games. All three Tigers' setbacks in their last 10 contests were road games at SMU, Connecticut and Houston.
• The Tigers are 5-4 in true road games and 8-5 in contests played away from FedExForum (away/neutral) this season.
• Memphis returns three starters, but only five letterwinners from last year's squad.
• Cincinnati is 17-1 at home this season, with the lone setback a narrow 58-57 loss to Louisville in the Bearcats' last game at Fifth Third Arena Feb. 22.

WHAT THE BEARCATS DID A YEAR AGO
• Cincinnati posted a 22-12 overall record and a 9-9 BIG EAST Conference mark in 2012-13.
• The Bearcats finished the BIG EAST Conference regular season tied for ninth place.
• Cincinnati won its BIG EAST Conference Tournament opening-round game over Providence, before falling to Georgetown in the second round.
• The Bearcats earned an NCAA Tournament at-large bid and fell to Creighton 67-63 in the second round.

SCOUTING THE BEARCATS
• Cincinnati brings a 24-5 overall record into Thursday's conference match-up.
• The Bearcats have dropped two straight and three of their last five. The three losses were to SMU, Louisville and Connecticut.
• Cincinnati is 7-1 at home in league play. The Bearcats' average margin of victory in those seven wins was 11.1 points.
• The Bearcats were picked to finish fourth in the 2013-14 American Athletic Conference preseason coaches poll.
• Sean Kilpatrick was named to the 2013-14 preseason All-American Athletic Conference first team.
• Kilpatrick is the Bearcats' leading scorer with a 20.3 average (first in The American). Justin Jackson is the squad's only other double-figure scorer at 11.0 ppg.
• Jackson is Cincinnati's top rebounder at 6.9 rpg (sixth in The American). Titus Rubles is the team's second-leading rebounder at 6.6 rpg (10th in The American).
• Kilpatrick is the squad's top playmaker with 74 total assists (2.6 apg), while Jackson is the team leader in blocks (86 total/3.0 bpg/first in The American) and steals (49 total/1.7 spg/sixth in The American).
• Three Bearcats shoot over 34 percent from the arc in Jermaine Sanders (37.2 percent), Troy Caupain (34.6 percent) and Kilpatrick (34.3 percent).
• Cincinnati is shooting 42.3 percent from the field, 32.9 percent from the arc and 71.5 percent from the free throw line.
• The Bearcats are out-rebounding their opponents by a margin of +5.0 boards per game (36.6-31.6).
• Mick Cronin is in his eighth season at Cincinnati. He has a 159-105 record at the school.

IT'S EARLY MARCH, SO ...
• It must be time for a Memphis-Cincinnati game in conference play.
• Or, at least, it was that way it was in the final four seasons when both were Conference USA members.
• Also, when the two programs were Great Midwest Conference members from 1991-92 to 1994-95, Memphis and Cincinnati had a conference game in March three of those four seasons.
• And, now it seems that the American Athletic Conference is continuing the annual Memphis-Cincinnati March match-up with Thursday's game.
• In five of the 10 seasons Memphis and Cincinnati played in C-USA, they had an early March game five times (*NOTE: Two other match-ups fell just short of March -- 1995-96 game was played Feb. 29; 1998-99 game was regular-season finale Feb. 27).
• The following lists the Memphis-Cincinnati March clashes since 1991-92:

	Year/Date	Site	Result
2004-05/Mar. 5# Memphis 62-60, UC
2003-04/Mar. 6# Cincinnati 83-79, UC
2002-03/Mar. 1# Memphis 67-48, UM
2001-02/Mar. 3# Cincinnati 80-75, UC*
1996-97/Mar. 1# Memphis 75-63, UM
1994-95/Mar. 2^ Cincinnati 83-73, UM
1992-93/Mar. 6^ Cincinnati 78-55, UC
1991-92/Mar. 7^ Memphis 69-59, UC
*overtime #C-USA Game ^GMC Game

BACK TO NORMAL
• In their four meetings from 2005-06 to 2008-09, Memphis and Cincinnati played as non-conference opponents, but in 2013-14, the two programs are in the same league, making them conference foes once again.
• Memphis and Cincinnati became charter members of the American Athletic Conference July 1, 2013.
• Prior to the four non-league encounters from 2006-09, the Tigers and Bearcats had met 63 times as conference rivals.
• The series began in the 1967-68 season and every contest up to the 2005-06 campaign was a league game.
• The two schools were members of the Missouri Valley Conference (1968-70), Metro Conference (1976-91), Great Midwest Conference (1992-95) and Conference USA (1996-2005).

HIDE YOUR EYES!
• If fans are coming to Thursday's game to see three-pointers made, they may go away disappointed.
• Thursday's game features the two of the worst three-point shooting teams in the American Athletic Conference.
• Memphis is fifth in The American in three-point field goal percentage (33.8) and Cincinnati is ninth (32.9).
• In three-point field goals made per game, both squads are in the bottom half of the league, with the Bearcats seventh (5.8) and the Tigers eighth (5.3).

BATTLE OF (SCORING) WILLS
• Thursday's contest features a battle of scoring wills between Memphis and Cincinnati.
• The Tigers enter Thursday's game with the league's second-best scoring offense at 78.6 ppg.
• On the other side, the Bearcats have the conference's best scoring defense at 57.2 ppg.
• In the Jan. 4 match-up, Cincinnati won the scoring-wills battle, as the Bearcats held Memphis to a season-low 53 points.

MORE ON THE LAST MEETING
• The Bearcats' 69-53 win over Memphis Jan. 4 made the researchers go back in Tigers history.
• Cincinnati's win ended a string of 13-straight, conference home-opener victories for the Tigers. The last time Memphis dropped its conference home opener was 2000-01.
• The loss to Cincinnati ended Memphis' 27-game conference win streak. Prior to the Jan. 4 setback, the last time the Tigers lost a league game was Feb. 18, 2012, to UTEP (60-58).
• The 16-point league home loss was Memphis' worst since a 25-point defeat to Cincinnati in the 1998-99 home finale (89-64).
• The 53 points were the program's fewest in a conference game since Memphis had 47 points in a 74-47 loss at UTEP Feb. 26, 2011.

TIGERS' RECENT "SENIOR DAY" SUCCESS
• Memphis has been rather successful in "Senior Day/Night" games -- and not just its own.
• Since 2005-06, the Tigers are 15-1 record (.938 winning percentage) when playing their own and opponents' "Senior Day/Night" games.
• Under head coach Josh Pastner, Memphis has an 8-1 record (.889 winning percentage) in those "Senior Day/Night" games.
• The Tigers have won their last six "Senior Day/Night" games.
• The following shows Memphis' "Senior Day/Night" games success since 2005-06:

Year	Opponent	Result
2012-13 UAB# 86-71, W
at UTEP 56-54, W
at UCF 76-67, W
2011-12 at Tulsa 78-66, W
vs. UCF# 84-55, W
2010-11 vs. Tulane# 66-61, W
at East Carolina 57-68, L
2009-10 vs. Tulsa# 75-53, W
at UAB 70-65, W
2008-09 vs. Tulane# 74-47, W
2007-08 vs. UAB# 94-56, W
at SMU 72-55, W
2006-07 at SMU 64-61, W
at UTEP 78-67, W
vs. Houston# 77-64, W
2005-06 vs. Houston# 69-62, W
#home "Senior Day/Night" games

TIGERS IN TOP FIVE/LOOKING TO MOVE UP
• With its 82-79 overtime victory over Temple Feb. 22, Memphis secured a top-five spot in the league standings and an American Athletic Conference Tournament opening-round bye.
• For the tournament, the league's top-six squads in the standings earn opening-round byes.
• With their 11-5 record, the Tigers can finish no worse than fifth place in The American regular-season standings.

TIGERS LOVE THOSE DOUBLE-DIGIT WINS IN LEAGUE PLAY
• With their 82-79 overtime win over Temple Feb. 22, the Tigers won their 10th conference game of 2013-14. Memphis' league record now stands at 11-5.
• Memphis' 10th conference victory gives the Tigers double-digit wins in league play for the ninth season in a row.
• The nine-straight seasons of double-digit conference wins is the longest streak of its kind in Tigers history.
• Since 2000-01, Memphis has posted double-digit conference wins 13 of the 14 seasons. The only season the Tigers did not have double-digit wins in conference play was 2004-05 when they went 9-7 in Conference USA.
• Over the last 14 years (includes 2013-14), Memphis has averaged nearly 13 conference wins per season (12.9 wins per season, to be exact).

MOST WINS IN FIRST FIVE YEARS
• Of course, head coach Josh Pastner will pass on credit to the current players, former players, current assistant coaches, former head coaches and, yes, even Tiger Nation.
• But, the fact is Pastner is the winningest head coach in Tigers history for the first five years.
• The following shows the head coaches' win totals for their first five seasons since 1949:

Head Coach	First 5 Years	Wins Total
Josh Pastner* 2010-14 128
John Calipari 2001-05 115
Larry Finch 1987-91 102
Dana Kirk 1980-84 99
Bob Vanatta 1957-61 94
Wayne Yates 1975-79 93
Eugene Lambert 1952-56 87
*Pastner's fifth season still in progress

PASTNER AMONG NCAA FIRST-FIVE YEAR WINNINGEST COACHES
• Yes, Josh Pastner is already the winningest head coach for the first five years in Memphis basketball history.
• But, even Tigers fans may not know that Pastner's 128 victories also place him among the winningest head coaches for the first five years in NCAA history.
• Pastner now holds the No. 6 spot on that list which is below:

Head Coach/Team	First 5 Years	Wins Total
Brad Stevens/Butler 2008-12 139
Everett Case/N.C. State 1947-51 137
Mark Few/Gonzaga 2000-04 133
Roy Williams/Kansas 1989-93 132
Jamie Dixon/Pittsburgh 2004-08 132
Josh Pastner/Memphis* 2010-14 128
Dave Rose/BYU 2006-10 127
Bruce Stewart/MTSU, 1983-87 126
West Va. Wesleyan#
Forddy Anderson/Drake, 1947-51 123
Bradley
Mark Fox/Nevada 2005-09 123
*Pastner's fifth season still in progress
#half of his first five seasons were at NCAA Division I

TIGERS SENIORS GET WIN NO. 100
• The Tigers' four-year seniors Chris Crawford, Trey Draper and Joe Jackson reached a milestone in Memphis' 60-54 victory over Gonzaga Feb. 8 with their 100th career win (Michael Dixon Jr. is a one-year senior and Geron Johnson is a two-year senior).
• The Tigers' current four-year senior class has a 104-31 record (.770 winning percentage).
• The following lists the top-five winningest four-year senior classes in school history:

Four-Year Class	Wins
2005-06 to 2008-09 137*
2006-07 to 2009-10 127
2004-05 to 2007-08 126
1983-84 to 1986-87 111
2002-03; 2004-05 to 2006-07 111
.
2010-11 to 2013-14 104
*NCAA record

DIXON'S "CLUTCH" FEBRUARY
• When Michael Dixon Jr. transferred to Memphis in the summer of 2013, he and Chris Crawford quickly struck up a friendship.
• So, Crawford won't mind if Dixon Jr. takes over his nickname, "Clutch" -- especially with his timely plays in recent Tigers wins.
• The following details some of Dixon Jr.'s recent "clutch" moments:

Louisville/Mar. 1/72-66 win

• Scores six-straight points from the 4:23 mark to 3:15 to cut a 65-57 Louisville lead to 65-63; his six points started a 15-1 run to close the game

• Hits a FT with :21 left to extend a 69-66 lead to 70-66 and make it a two-possession game

Temple/Feb. 22/82-79 win (OT)
• Hits two FT with :18 left in overtime to extend an 80-79 lead to 82-79, which was the final score

Rutgers/Feb. 20/64-59 win
• With Memphis clinging to a 56-51 lead with under 1:30 left, swishes a three-pointer at the 1:16 mark to extend the lead to 59-51 and put the game out of reach

Gonzaga/Feb. 8/60-54 win
• With the Tigers down 52-43, nets five points (trey, jumper) in a 7-0 Memphis run to cut the lead to 52-50
• Hits layup with 1:12 left to give Memphis 55-54 lead; it was Tigers' first lead since 12-11 at 9:23 of first half
• Hits two FT with :33 left to extend lead to 57-54

"CLOSE-CALL" PASTNER
• Memphis enters Thursday's conference match-up against Cincinnati with an 8-3 record in single-digit outcome games in 2013-14.
• On the other side, the Bearcats also are 8-3 in single-digit outcome games this season.
• Under head coach Josh Pastner, Memphis has been successful in single-digit outcome games.
• Overall, Pastner's teams have a 47-23 record (.671 winning percentage) in games decided by single digits. His squads are 29-14 (.674 winning percentage) in games decided by five or fewer points.
• The following charts Memphis' success in "close-call" games in the Pastner era:

	Year	5 or Fewer	Single-Digits
2013-14 3-2 8-3
2012-13 5-1 10-3
2011-12 4-5 6-7
2010-11 13-2 16-3
2009-10 4-4 7-7
Total 29-14 47-23
Pct. .674 .671

 

 

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